Sunday, 3 March 2013

A first warble

Today saw the first warblers of the year.  A blackcap seen in South Scrub - whether it's an African migrant or an over-wintering European bird is debatable - but a year first non-the-less.  A cetti's warbler also gave a very brief burst from the southern site - we have had the odd call since October - but it would appear they have not followed up their 2007 breeding success since. 

The adult drake scaup appeared on D res again today.  Thanks to Andrew Bulmer for these shots of the goldeneye from the other week:
And shoveler:
The lesser redpoll around North Lagoon has also been abundant - again a nice shot from Andrew here (for more pictures visit his blog):
Willow tit from Friday by Darren Smith:
Yesterday's reserve walk turned up a few otter spraints, a common buzzard making the most of the thermals, and a distant little egret.  They have however been the big highlight of the week - up to six birds daily now.  They do take flight readily onto the river - but are clearly finding good pickings in the meadow.  No pictures yet - I've said before Amboseli was an inspiration for this habitat - and it does look a bit like this: (without the spoonbills!)
The hot tip is to get there at first light and be in position in the hide before they see you approach.  A few moths in the trap now - visit Martin's page for the updates including the little gull still present on the roost last night.  This cracking dark morph pale brindled beauty was on the Water Works door earlier in the week:
Finally big thanks to our band of volunteers - over the last month we've been laying the hedge (or trees at any rate!) alongside Bamrston Drain / South Scrub - a total length of 260yds.  The purpose of which is to reduce forays from dogs into the reserve from the bridleway, provide a new dense nesting habitat for warblers with some more varied vegetation height, and make way for a new fence this autumn part funded by the Natural England Higher Level Stewardship Scheme we've just entered.  The intention is to graze the area like Hempholme from this winter onwards - preventing the need to take such drastic hawthorn operations in future: